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Today in history

On July 13, 2013, a jury in Sanford, Florida, cleared neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman of all charges in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Black teenager whose killing unleashed furious debate over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice.

On this date:

In 1787, the Congress of the Confederation adopted the Northwest Ordinance, which established a government in the Northwest Territory, an area corresponding to the present-day Midwest and Upper Midwest.

In 1812, New York became the first U.S. city to adopt regulations on how pawnbrokers could conduct business.

In 1863, deadly rioting against the Civil War military draft erupted in New York City. (The insurrection was put down three days later.)

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Thurgood Marshall to be U.S. Solicitor General; Marshall became the first Black jurist appointed to the post. (Two years later, Johnson nominated Marshall to the U.S. Supreme Court.)

In 1973, former presidential aide Alexander P. Butterfield revealed to Senate Watergate Committee staff members the existence of President Richard Nixon’s secret White House taping system. (Butterfield’s public revelation came three days later.)

In 1974, the Senate Watergate Committee proposed sweeping reforms in an effort to prevent another Watergate scandal.

In 1985, “Live Aid,” an international rock concert in London, Philadelphia, Moscow and Sydney, took place to raise money for Africa’s starving people.

In 1990, the romantic fantasy “Ghost,” starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, was released by Paramount Pictures.

In 1999, Angel Maturino Resendiz (ahn-HEHL’ mah-tyoo-REE’-noh reh-SEHN’-deez), suspected of being the “Railroad Killer,” surrendered in El Paso, Texas. (Resendiz was executed in 2006.)

In 2005, a suicide car bomb exploded next to U.S. troops handing out candy and toys in Iraq, killing more than two dozen people, including 18 children and teenagers and an American soldier.

In 2006, Israel imposed a naval blockade against Lebanon and blasted the Beirut airport and army air bases; Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets into Israel.

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